Qualicum Beach hosting ‘Freedom of the Town’ event

Town of Qualicum Beach photo
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The Town of Qualicum Beach will host a military parade and festivities on May 7.

19 Mission Support Squadron (19 MSS) will march through town, along with a military flyover and performances by the Esquimalt Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, according to a media release by the Town of Qualicum Beach.

During its April 6 meeting, council voted to bestow the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching with colours flying, bayonets fixed and drums beating to 19 Mission Support Squadron, 19 Wing Comox within the bounds of the Town of Qualicum Beach.

“Freedom of the Town” is a historic ceremony with roots dating back to the 15th century when towns were endangered by invading military units. Before a military unit would be admitted to the town, the council would need to grant the unit “Freedom of the Town,” which would entitle the unit to enter with drums beating, banners flying, and bayonets fixed. This high honour was only afforded to military units with a long and cooperative relationship with the municipality.

Starting at 2 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, in keeping with the historic ceremony, 19 MSS will request council’s permission to march through town. 

The squadron will then parade from the civic centre to town hall, where the mayor will present the “Key to the Town” to 19 MSS. After speeches and the playing of the national anthem, the parade will continue to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, where there will be refreshments and entertainment.

The public are invited to attend this historic event and watch the parade from the civic centre to town hall on Second Avenue West.

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